State Representative John Cavaletto, who represents the local 107th District, has received an update on the impact of his 2011 initiative to fight waste and fraud within the unemployment benefits area managed by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) which indicates the State has eliminated overpayments and fraudulent payments in the amount of $724,425,226.55.
“People ask me from time to time what good is accomplished in Springfield particularly when you are in the minority and here is a prime example of a common-sense idea that came from talking with constituents around my district,” commented Rep. Cavaletto. “My House Resolution spurred IDES to begin a cross-check of benefit recipients with jail intake logs for the first time beginning in November of 2011 and within the first month there were over 400 inmates stopped from receiving fraudulent payments and within the first year more than $120 million was saved by taxpayers,” he added.
In conjunction with a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, the IDES, Illinois State Police and County Sheriffs association met to create a task force to coordinate efforts. After Representative Cavaletto’s initial efforts in 2011, additional cross-checks have been added to uncover fraudulent unemployment claims including the review of the National Directory of New Hires (2012), Work Search databases (2014), the Secretary of State database (2014), an Enhanced Inmate Crossmatch (2015), and an Invalid Social Security Number review (2015).
“I am happy to report that after four years of this cross-checking by IDES, nearly 142,000 fraudulent claims have been stopped and over 724 million dollars have been saved for Illinois taxpayers. Employment Security Director Jeffery Mays indicates there are six new states that have agreed to share data to begin cross-checking with this year and I look forward to working with him to expand these efforts further,” concluded Cavaletto.